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Live music and festival industry hit hard by coronavirus

The coronavirus epidemic has led to an immediate and complete shutdown of the live music and festival industry, and those working in the sector need immediate support to avoid going bankrupt, according to an analysis by Music Hungary Association and Hétfa Research Institute.

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According to the research, the shutdown of the live music industry affects some 36,000 people. The lack of events means that most of them are left without a source of income for the upcoming months.

While the amount of loss largely depends on the length of the outbreak, the industry is set to lose some HUF 13 billion of income. About HUF 4-5 bln of the total loss will be missing from the wages of Hungarian musicians and experts working in the field.

The research says that, on average, Hungarian musicians earn more than 60% of their income through live performances. Another important source of income (more than 15%) is the royalties received after songs played at catering establishments and concerts. However, most public places are now closed, taking away this source of income as well. 

Due to these difficulties, musicians are set to lose more than 70% of their income in the upcoming months.

Music Hungary Association has hence sent the government a list of recommendations to ameliorate the situation. Proposals include the extension of employer contribution suspension until the end of the year, decreasing the VAT of activities related to live performances to 5% until the end of 2021, making royalties tax-free in 2020-21, increasing the Hungarian music quota of radio stations by 10-15 percentage points, as well as support for virtual concerts and appearances on digital platforms such as YouTube and Spotify.

The complete list of proposals and additional statistics are available here (in Hungarian)